This series is all about libsyn’s newest podcasters. Its sole purpose is to introduce these awesome podcasts to the world as well as share their podcasting insight to empower the community!
“Illogical.” Not really. In fact it makes perfect sense. This latest Rockin’New Libsyn Podcast is all about delving into the world of Star Trek and it’s so full of life, excitement, intelligent conversation and humor with a couple of fabulous hosts, we had to split this feature into two!
You’ll get the first co-host John Champion on this post and tomorrow you’ll get the mighty Ken Ray, so y’all come back now ya hear?
Q & A John Champion from Mission Log
When did you start podcasting?
About 3 years ago. I started doing (and still do!) a podcast called “DVD Geeks” which is all about new/recently released DVDs and Blu-rays and all the special features that come with them.
Rod Roddenberry and I started discussing the idea for “Mission Log” in late 2011. By February of 2012 we had brought in Ken Ray and started playing around with sample episodes to see if the show would even work.
Why did you start podcasting?
“DVD Geeks” was created as a TV show, and we had a blast doing that for a few years. Eventually, it was so expensive to carry on as a TV show not to mention having to answer to many masters and get bounced around through all the business and bureaucracy of TV when you’re a small, independent show.
Podcasting seemed like a great alternative where we could do whatever we wanted, maintain control of the show and not have the huge overhead of TV.
There’s much less pressure, and the gratification is immediate. We can post an episode and then get feedback from the audience right away.
We feel much more connected to our listeners by doing a podcast than we ever did on TV.
What’s your show about?
“Mission Log” is about “Star Trek,” but more specifically it’s about the ethics, morals and messages within the “Star Trek” universe.
We figured the best structure for the show was to cover every episode – of all the various “Star Trek” series – in order, but rather than just review them, seriously investigate what the shows are about.
Every “Star Trek” fan rightfully praises the shows for being about more than just action/adventure in space, but we wanted to see if there are consistent themes and messages that are still relevant to our lives in the 21st century.
Fun, Fame or Profit? Why are you doing the show?
First and foremost, it’s fun. Even if I think it won’t be fun, as soon as we start recording each episode I’m reminded instantly that I love doing this show.
If there’s any level of fame to come along with this show (and having the Roddenberry and Nerdist names behind us doesn’t hurt), that will only serve to make it more fun.
Again, having an audience that’s actually engaged in what you do makes the work that much more satisfying.
What’s your podcasting set-up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
I use a 2011 15″ MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion, Yeti Pro microphone and Bowers + Wilkins P5 headphones.
Ken is in New York, and I’m in California which means we record the show as a Skype call. Ken does the editing, and we upload all the show elements to Dropbox when it’s ready for Nerdist to distribute.
How have you promoted your podcast?
We set up the basic social media – Facebook and Twitter – a couple of weeks before we launched. More importantly, we wanted to make sure we went straight to the fans.
We all attended the most recent “Star Trek” convention in Las Vegas where we handed out 2,000 postcards and even participated in some panel discussions to get the word out.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Going back 3 or 4 years ago, I wish I had the technical confidence that I do now. I would have launched my other show as an independent podcast much sooner.
As for “Mission Log,” I don’t think it would have made any difference, but I wish I had known how much work this was truly going to take.
Ken and I will watch each episode 3 or 4 times before recording and spend a lot of time taking notes and formulating our ideas.
I wish I had sat down months ago and read books like “The Ethics of Star Trek” and started taking my notes then.
Do download numbers matter matter to you? or is audience engagement key?
I’m much more concerned about audience engagement. “Star Trek” fans love to talk about “Star Trek” more than anything else.
If they are talking to us or about us, then we’ve done at least half the job. If they are challenging themselves with the ideas we present or seeing new elements in the shows because of something we’ve discussed, then I’ll know we’ve done a great job.
How has or has podcasting helped create opportunities for you?
Podcasting has gotten me in front of some audiences I never thought I’d be addressing, like leading a session on ethics and humanism at Star Trek Las Vegas.
I’ve also been able to interview some really creative people and, because of my other show, I’ve been exposed to some great movies I may have otherwise missed!
What advise would you give a new podcaster so that they keep going!
First of all, bring something different. There is no subject that hasn’t already been discussed in a podcast.
We never wanted to be “just another Star Trek podcast,” and we wanted to find a specific, new angle. Know your subject, and plan to go an inch wide and a mile deep.
Your job as a podcaster is to not just record the show and publish it but also put yourself out there to the world as someone who listens to your audience and interacts with them. The audience doesn’t just find you – you have to go find them.
Did you start off podcasting and that lead into a business or did you see podcasting as a necessary support for an existing business?
When we started “DVD Geeks,” I saw that as an extension of something than already existed. Now it’s a part of my regular routine and one of my primary focuses.
“Mission Log” launched as part of a bigger, existing brand, but I would certainly say the podcast is a necessary element of staying fresh and relevant.
What piece of advice would give others looking to generate revenue from podcasting whether directly or indirectly?
Don’t be afraid to team up and cross promote. No show exists in a vacuum.
Also, take your show directly to where your fans and potential audience already is. Find conventions, trade-shows and other places where your potential audience has already gathered.
These guys are ready to take you deep into the Star Trek universe, farther than you’ve ever gone before! If you aren’t interested in Star Trek, this show will still appeal to you as the discussions are all about the depths of the human condition…and we are all human no? 😉 SUBSCRIBE
If you want to reach out to The Mission Log Podcast you can do so by emailing missionlog(at)roddenberry(dot)com, calling 323-522-5641 or following @missionlogpod
What are you waiting for? Start your podcast!